Indigofera caudata is an erect shrub growing up to 250cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
The Yunnan Plateau, Northern Indochina and Luang Prabong forest ecoregions, where specimens of this species have been recorded, have had much of their area converted to grasslands and scrub, largely as a result of intensified shifting cultivation. This remains a threat, but as this species is tolerant of scrub conditions as well as forest, the impact may be less than for a purely forest species. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
E. Asia - southern China (Guangxi, Guizhou, southern Yunnan), northern Thailand, northern Laos
Mountain slopes, valleys, trailsides, scrub, woodlands; at elevations from 600 - 2,000 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
Found in the wild on clay and loamy soils[
]. Indigo species generally grow best in a sunny position, preferring a well-drained but moist soil[
]. Many of the species will also succeed in drier conditions and in poor soils.
We have seen no specific information for this species, but most members of the genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
An extract of the seeds is believed to have health benefits[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[
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